Thursday, March 27, 2003

Singing with the songbird

What is the definition of a hip and happening Saturday night? – It would probably be last Saturday on the wings of the Songbird at SS2. What do you do when you are soaring with such an exquisite creature? You leave your fears behind and sing like there was no tomorrow and today was a day of eternal happiness…

I arrived at the SS2 Gloria Jeans a few minutes before 9 p.m. Dave, out gracious host and organizer of this interesting affair immediately greeted me with his infectious smile. He directed me to the 2nd floor where the Songbird karaoke was located. Like all places where fun was the trade, I was welcomed by a very charming and gorgeous host (in layman terms – a babe). I gave her my reservation number and host name and she responded by escorting me to the designated area. Unfortunately, she left me at the door dismissing all hopes of continuing the pleasure of her company.

Undaunted, I walked in to find a small and cozy room, which was only filled with Jin Khon looking so calm that one may make the fair assumption that he owned the joint. Together we waited and it was not long before our company was serenaded by the arrival of a certain Miss. Sharon Ng. She immediately took possession of the mike and started to work on her melodious vocal harp with Jin Khoon as I sat back quite enraptured with the proceedings. In the middle of the golden oldies, Ei Leen, Michele, Joanne and eventually Deliliah walked in one after the other. Like traditional DU TM meetings, we had 3 non-TM guests as well. By this time, the music was in full swing and the party was warming up quite nicely.

And just when I thought our motley assemble was complete, along came our charming knight in shinning armor spotting a new ultra-short haircut – Mr. Allan Kam. Typically, the knight brought along a damsel who seemed hardly distressed. Until now, I could still hear the collective disappointed sighs from the ladies in the room at the sight of the knight with a lady already perched on his arms. The knight with his customary charismatic personality lifted the tempo of the party to a raunchy level. Oldies with some of the strangest names but familiar tunes flowed on non-stop. Beetles, Begees and the Carpenters had their singers pre-empted by local talents.

In the midst of it all, walked in Angelene. Now, if the writer deemed Sharon to be the queen of the night and Allan to be the debonair knight, Angelene would definitely be the star (expectations heightened by her marvelous performance when she executed her first speech). The angel of the night has finally descended and us mortal men were glad to greet her.

And greet we did. Angelene was always given the mike!

For the writer whose voice is often blamed for the excessive rain around Klang valley that sometimes causes flash floods, it was a comfort to know that her sweet voice would drown out all imperfections to produce the perfect karaoke duet even when singing a ridiculous (shudder) Britney Spears hit…

It was sometime around ten o’clock when the waiter brought in a birthday cake to my utmost surprise. I found out soon enough that it was for none other than the queen of the night. She was apparently celebrating her 21st birthday, which was quite shocking because I would not have guessed her age to be beyond 16…

Predictably, the birthday song was rendered out and the mademoiselle under the spotlight blew out her candles and made a wish, which remains a mystery till today.

The night was now getting on and moving at lightning speed. Our charming knight was the first to leave, which was a shame but he had done enough merry making to enable the mood to last the night even after his departure with his damsel. A few songs later, the queen of the night also made her way to the door much to the disappointment of the younger bachelors in the room but fortunately for the narrator, he managed to steal a dance and a kiss from her royal enchantress….

The party rocked on until 11.30 p.m though. Eileen performed “Runaway Train” to the delight of everyone. Abba came on to a lot of applause. The host surprised and amazed by doing a heartfelt rendition of “Moon River”. Angelene passionately sang the likes of “Belaian Jiwa” and “Di Persimpangan Dilema”. Ang (One of the guest) and Jin Khoon dominated with their powerful tones. Joanne intermittently mesmerized with some Cantonese songs. And despite the round robin mike passing, somehow or other Delilah escaped - not even singing a single tune much to the annoyance of the writer.

The hours slipped by and the night started to wind down. It was long past bedtime for most of the attendees and the rogue yawns were escaping all efforts of concealment. Just before the clock struck 12, the TM Presidante did a “Cinderella” and followed her sister’s early lead.

The rest of us stayed behind to finish up the last of the oldies and disbanded after the final Cliff Richard hit was played out. In the tired aftermath, a few of the energetic ones gathered around a mamak, which was close by. There we spent the night engaging in friendly gossip before finally driving home with the melodies of the songbird playing in our ears and the events of the night still fresh in our memories providing ample and lively fuel for exciting dreams lasting many nights afterwards… Till the next song.

By, Vijay Balasegaram